Pathway editor commended, accountable to exec director,
retains editorial freedom
Only Executive Board has hire/fire authority
JEFFERSON CITY—The relationship that was initiated by the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Executive Board in July to place the editor of The Pathway under the administrative supervision of the executive director while keeping the hire/fire power and editorial supervision over the editor position in the hands of the board is working out well, according to the MBC interim executive director.
David Tolliver said the current arrangement ensures that The Pathway is free to report the news without censorship or micromanaging while creating an appropriate level of accountability for the Convention’s news journal on site in the Baptist Building through the oversight of his office. Tolliver described his relationship with Pathway Editor Don Hinkle as warm, friendly and professional—a good blend that is in the best interests of all Missouri Baptists right now.
A progress report on how the editor is doing was prepared by the MBC Administrative Committee and delivered to the Executive Board on Dec. 10 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City. Comments were made as to the excellent level of cooperation and mutual respect that exists between Tolliver and Hinkle.
“There exists a very good rapport and relationship between the editor and the interim executive director,” wrote Administrative Committee Chairman Jeff Purvis in the report. “There are regular meetings between the two. Their communication is candid. Mr. Hinkle’s responsiveness is one of submission and cooperation.”
Tolliver noted that he is clearly prohibited from editing, shaping or influencing the news content in The Pathway due to a clause in the Executive Board Bylaws that states “the executive director shall not possess editorial privileges concerning the content of the newspaper.”
In return, Hinkle continues to demonstrate his respect for the office of the executive director when sensitive news stories compel him to talk with his supervisor to ensure the utmost in accuracy, fairness, truth and integrity.
Under Executive Board Bylaws, the editor “shall be free to attend all open meetings and to report on the proceedings. The personnel of the official news journal of the Missouri Baptist Convention shall not be prevented from reporting or making editorial comment of all open meetings.”
The Pathway in June 2002 was placed under the Executive Board after it was created as a theologically conservative alternative to Word & Way. In 2003, The Pathway was moved under the executive director. In April 2006, board members voted, 23-21, to return control of the news journal to the board. They then switched back to executive director oversight, with an eye on creating balance (see “Executive Board seeks balance with Pathway,” July 24, 2007, www.mbcpathway.com).